Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, Makes Tolerance and Multiculturalism A Strength

Since Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was young, he was already known in the society as one of the noble sons who love cultural art even he could play puppet shadow or “wayang” and other cultural plays at that time. He was also known with his high tolerance and kindness in society. During his reign, Banten was at the peak of its glory and it was signed by the development of economy in terms of trade. The traders in Banten could compete against traders from Dutch or Netherland.

 

Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa is Popular with His Tolerance for Banten Kingdom

The development of Banten as the kingdom was supported by cultural, politic and geography factors, thanks to the tolerance of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa. The first one is geographic factor. Banten had a strategic port. This port was faced directly to the trade routes of Archipelago and Asia. The depth of the land was so fertile and it produced rice, pepper and more. Second is the political factor. The fall of Malaka into Portuguese hands in 1511 and the politic change in Central Java and East Java added the crowds to Banten port since then.

Since Malaka fell, many Malay traders chose Banten as the transit place for their stuff before being exported to the destination. The crowd was getting added after many people from Central and East Java came to Banten when they didn’t want to acknowledge the sovereignty of Islamic Mataram kingdom. Those people chose to be traders in Banten port. The third factor is culture. Since there were so many traders who chose the port of Banten to stay and trade from other regions with different culture, there was culture exchange between them.

It added the experience in trading positively and the result was, many new traders appeared in Banten port. When Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa became the King of Banten, he was known as the clever king and he respected as well as appreciated the education and also multiculturalism between traders. No wonder Muslim knowledge had developed so well. Sultan was known as the good leader and he had the visions for future to build and protect his people. From the diplomatic side, he always kept the cooperation as the political and economical forms.

The presence of Dutch through VOC that wanted to monopolize the situation made Sultan Ageng worried and he struggled to fight back. He didn’t like something bad and he had the truth he would hold on till he died. He also could defend his pride when he had to fight face to face against Sultan Haji who was his own family betrayed. In his golden era, Sultan could bring both economy and politic to the max and changed the Banten kingdom as the worldest power and influenced Asia so much.

You may say that Sultan Ageng was the visionary leader and he could do many things according to his international knowledge. He was the leader who loved culture, had tolerance, expert in education and more. His lead and also wisdom become the guidelines of some leaders in Indonesia to maintain the goverment and also country along with society inside it. Hope that Indonesian leaders could do the same like Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa.

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